Issue 7,  Poetry

The Spectral Lady; or, Queen of the Stars by Clay F. Johnson

Within the outer darkness
Of etherealized gold-stone,
Orphic from crystalized music,
Drifts & floats a Lady
Of spectral mystery

Weaving through opal-spiraled
Nebula clouds of dead star-dust—
A glowing graveyard of once-
Living star-decay—she drifts,
Alone, self-reflecting each
Vivid color as if made from
The shards of witch-crystal

For eternities the stars burned
With the flames of living fire,
Until they died unnoticed—
For eternities their death-remnants
Danced like living faerie-dust,
Until new stars were born again
From self-resurrection

The Night is eternal,
Glowing silver-sapphire around
Her unreachable edges, ever
Expanding toward the unknown
She creates Her own darkness

Within the expanding black
The Lady floats, unaware of time,
Unaware her name is lost,
Unaware her friends are gone,
Dead, lost to the centuries,
Unaware of her own
Endless mysteries

Her interpretation of time—
Memorized by familiar
Sphere-gravity, flowing
Through her now ancient bones—
Only a matter of days
Have passed her by alone

Yet, in accordance to the
Ever-changeable mysteries
Of space-time, back on her home
A thousand-odd years have passed,
Died and, to her, will be
Ever unknown

Her travel-program—Mission Varda
Is forgotten, and no longer
Exists in the zettabytes
Of history—erased,
Deleted during the last

Lost in every essence of time
She is known only to the eyes
Of living star-dust, known only
To each and every melody
Within each and every star-beam,
Coldly crystal as it whispers,
The Spectral Lady

Between starlight & darkness
Infinite & unextinguished,
She exists, classic & timeless,
Expanding toward the unknown—
Acknowledged only by spectral
Whispers, she lives unremembered,
Unchangeable, alone.


Clay F. Johnson is an amateur pianist, devoted animal lover, and incorrigible reader of Gothic literature and Romantic-era poetry. His writing has been featured in the Horror Writers Association’s Poetry Showcase, nominated for a Rhysling Award, and recently received an honorable mention in The Best Horror of the Year. Find out more on his website at or follow him on Twitter @ClayFJohnson.

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